Ketamine May Help People With Depression

Researchers found small amounts of Special K can regenerate some synapses

By Travis Anderson
|  Sunday, Oct 7, 2012  |  Updated 5:04 PM PDT
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Ketamine May Help People With Depression

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No, you're not supposed to be doing party drugs, but it turns out that one such drug could actually help those suffering from depression. That drug would be ketamine, known to the young folks as Special K. Before you go out and order a boatload of Special K, it's important to read on.

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine have found that a small amount of ketamine can help regenerate synaptic connections between brain cells, ones that are often damaged by stress and depression.

Ketamine works on a different type of neurotransmitter system than the antidepressants that are all the rage today. The ones most in use don't work for one in every three patients, but ketamine could change that.

Researchers are hoping to learn how and why ketamine works the way it does in the brain to help the development of further medication.

"The rapid therapeutic response of ketamine in treatment-resistant patients is the biggest breakthrough in depression research in a half century," said Ronald Duman, Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurobiology.

DVICE

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